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Taylor Swift claims Scooter Braun tried to ‘silence her forever’ before selling her back catalogue for $300 million

Reiss Smith November 17, 2020
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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift. (Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)

Taylor Swift has addressed reports that Scooter Braun has sold the master recordings to her first six albums, alleging he tried to “silence” her.

The Folklore singer confirmed the news that Braun has sold her back catalogue to an investment fund in a deal thought to be worth $300 million, 17 months after he controversially bought them as part of a takeover of her old record label, in a statement Monday (16 November).

Swift said it was “the second time” her music has been sold “without [her] knowledge”, and alleged Braun had shut her out of the process.

“The letter told me that they [Shamrock Holdings, the new owners] wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off.”

Swift said that she had previously attempted to enter into negotiations with Braun in the hopes of regaining her masters, but that his team wanted her to sign an “ironclad” non-disclosure agreement.

Taylor Swift wearing a cream roll neck jumper with soft curls (mid shot) queer betty
Taylor Swift released her eighth album Folklore to rave reviews. (Taylor Swift)

The agreement, she claimed, meant she could “never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive” before she was allowed to enter into negotiations.

“I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a a chance to bid on my own work,” Swift wrote.

“My legal team said that this is absolutely not normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off.”

Swift claimed that Braun “would never even quote my team a price”.

“These master recordings were not for sale to me,” she added.

Under the deal Braun will continue to profit from Swift’s works, which she said made any partnership with Shamrock a “non-starter”.

Braun purchased the rights to all of Swift’s first six albums in June 2019 as part of a merger with her former record label.

At the time, Swift accused Braun of “incessant, manipulative bullying”. Braun later said he’d received death threats following the saga.

Taylor Swift confirms she’s re-recording her albums.

Without her masters, Taylor Swift has limited say in how her back catalogue is used. The deal excludes her most recent two albums, Lover and Folklore, which were released after she left Big Machine Records.

Because she wrote or co-wrote her biggest hits, she does retain a veto, and last year revealed she turns down a dozen requests “to use ‘Shake It Off’ in some advertisement or ‘Blank Space’ in some movie trailer” each week.

“I do want my music to live on,” she told Billboard in November 2019. “I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials. But I only want that if I own it.”

To rectify this, Swift is re-recording her old music, a process she revealed in her statement is now underway.

“It has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” she said. “I have plenty of surprises in store.”

PinkNews contacted Scooter Braun’s representatives for comments.

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